Friday, June 23, 2017

Minion MiP Turbo Dave Robot Giveaway

This post contains affiliate links. (But not for Mixed Bag Mama.)

  Minion MiP Turbo Dave Robot Giveaway

Welcome to the Minion MiP Turbo Dave Robot Giveaway!

Winner receives 1 Minion MiP Turbo Dave Robot.
This is part of our Swinging Into Summer Gift Guide. Stop by and see what else we have for you!
This contest is hosted by the Social Media Gurus Network!
Below is a list of all the bloggers involved in the gift guide.

Michigan Saving and More

Deliciously Savvy

Tales From A Southern Mom

Here We Go Again ready

My Silly Little Gang

Everyday Gizmos Sweeps & Views

Bargnhtress

Easter Babe's Theory

mimilovesall8

Peyton's Momma

Things That Make People Go Aww

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now let’s get to the sponsor!

WowWee

Minion MiP Turbo Dave Robot

$79.99 RV

~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY

This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site.You are not eligible if you have won a prize from the sponsor in the last 12 month. This Giveaway is valid in the United States Only and Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway event will end at 11:59 PM (EST) 7/19/17. The winners will have 48 hours to email their information back to las93063 at gmail dot com or a new winner will be drawn, you may want to put this email address as safe as it could go to spam. The sponsors are each responsible for shipping of the above prizes. No blog associated with this contests are responsible for prize fulfillment. If you would like to be a sponsor in a giveaway like this please email Laura Smith at las930 (at)gmail (dot) com. If you take an entry you must stay following for the entire contest or you will be disqualified.

Also we all “love it if you like us” on Facebook! If you like our blogs on social media it helps us bring you only the best giveaways and more of them!

Enter below and Good Luck!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer Fun at Nature School & Little Movers!

girls in field

             Hey folks! Between camping, swim lessons, and catching up on farm work, we are taking a bit of a break with the state park visits. BUT, I did want to share about a couple of other things I'm excited about this summer: The start of our local nature school and the return of the Little Movers and storytime at our not-so-local library.

baby at library
             Since it's not our closest library, we didn't find out about the Little Movers program until right before Easter. We were only able to go to one...And then they went on break for the month of May to get ready for their summer reading program. :/ But, it, along with storytime are back, which we got to experience for the first time a couple of weeks ago.
             We haven't been to any storytimes for a very long time...Like, before Ripley was even born, I think. Myka would NOT STOP TALKING, so we left. This time was much better and she does a lot better now, thank God!

girl with craft
             The staff at the Linton library, from our experience so far, are great! The storytime librarian is not exception. She read several short stories for the children. Then they were able to do an edible craft afterwards that went along with one of the books! The other parents and grandparents have been very nice and helpful so far too. One woman even helped me keep Ripley corralled in the activity room. Ha ha Again, like I've stated in a previous library post, we enjoy Linton's library MUCH more than our own.
             Little Movers is a fun program too. It's meant for preschoolers (although Ripley enjoys joining in sometimes too) and is all about singing and dancing. What little kid doesn't love that? So far, it's been a great way to meet other parents who have children the same age, get some social interaction for Myka, and have some gross motor fun!

             Now, I mentioned nature school...I was SUPER excited to learn about this! An acquaintance of mine introduced me to it on Facebook. At first I was afraid it was going to be in Bloomington. We are kind of burnt out on it and the majority of the people there, so I wasn't really looking forward to driving there every week. As it turns out, the family who started it only live 10 minutes from our house! Hooray for other people who live in the boonies!
             I've been hoping for someone around here to start something like this, but I just don't have the time or patience “to people”, as I call it, to start one myself. Basically, we'll be having different lessons and hands-on nature activities each week with a different theme. Everyone is encouraged to pitch in with “leading” in whatever areas/subjects they feel comfortable doing so, as well as give suggestions and ideas. And it's open to all ages of children!

kids preparing garden
             Our first session was about soil, compost, and gardening. We started off talking and taking a look at different types of soil. We also talked about compost and what all goes in it and why it's good for gardens. After our lunch break, we got started on our small garden! 

kids planting garden
             Most of the kids were very involved with helping prepare and plant the garden. It was really cool to see. After we finished that up, we also planted a sunflower hut. I loved that idea so much I planted one at home later that week too!

girl with butterfly
             I'm learning to set my expectations lower with Myka when it comes to doing new things lately. Does that sound bad? Regardless, she did about as well as I thought she would. I was able to talk her into a few things, but other than that she just wanted to run around, explore, and play with the other kids. But, she's 4 and I figured she is learning and garnering some much needed social skills and she's still playing outside, so it's all good. ;)
             Do you have anything like nature school near you? Have your kids ever been to one?
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party
ethannevelyn.com

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Jack N Jill Dino Teeth Care Kit Giveaway

This post contains affiliate links. (But not for Mixed Bag Mama.)

  Jack N Jill Dino Gift Kit Giveaway

Welcome to the Jack N Jill Dino Gift Kit Giveaway!

Winner receives Jack N Jill Dino Gift Kit including organic toothpaste, storage cup, bio toothbrush, silicone finger brush, and sleepover bag.
This is part of our Swinging Into Summer Gift Guide. Stop by and see what else we have for you!
This contest is hosted by the Social Media Gurus Network!
Below is a list of all the bloggers involved in the gift guide.

Michigan Saving and More

Deliciously Savvy

Tales From A Southern Mom

Here We Go Again ready

My Silly Little Gang

Everyday Gizmos Sweeps & Views

Bargnhtress

Easter Babe's Theory

mimilovesall8

Peyton's Momma

Things That Make People Go Aww

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now let’s get to the sponsor!

Jack N Jill


Dino Gift Kit

$36.99 RV
See the review for all of these products HERE.

~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY

This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site.You are not eligible if you have won a prize from the sponsor in the last 12 month. This Giveaway is valid in the United States Only and Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway event will end at 11:59 PM (EST) 7/11/17. The winners will have 48 hours to email their information back to las93063 at gmail dot com or a new winner will be drawn, you may want to put this email address as safe as it could go to spam. The sponsors are each responsible for shipping of the above prizes. No blog associated with this contests are responsible for prize fulfillment. If you would like to be a sponsor in a giveaway like this please email Laura Smith at las930 (at)gmail (dot) com. If you take an entry you must stay following for the entire contest or you will be disqualified.

Also we all “love it if you like us” on Facebook! If you like our blogs on social media it helps us bring you only the best giveaways and more of them!

Enter below and Good Luck!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Winning Moves $100 Worth of Games Giveaway

This post contains affiliate links. (But not for Mixed Bag Mama.)

  Winning Moves $100 Worth Of Games Giveaway

Welcome to the Winning Moves $100 Worth Of Games Giveaway!

Winner receives Winning Moves $100 choice Of Games.
This is part of our Swinging Into Summer Gift Guide. Stop by and see what else we have for you!
This contest is hosted by the Social Media Gurus Network!
Below is a list of all the bloggers involved in the gift guide.

Michigan Saving and More

Deliciously Savvy

Tales From A Southern Mom

Here We Go Again ready

My Silly Little Gang

Everyday Gizmos Sweeps & Views

Bargnhtress

Easter Babe's Theory

mimilovesall8

Peyton's Momma

Things That Make People Go Aww

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now let’s get to the sponsor!
100 Worth Of Games Giveaway

Winning Moves Games

Below are a sample of what you could choose with your $100 Worth Of Games.
100 Worth Of Games Giveaway

SUNK

See review HERE.
100 Worth Of Games Giveaway

Nibbled

See review HERE.
100 Worth Of Games Giveaway

Cranium Cadoo

See review HERE.

~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY

This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site.You are not eligible if you have won a prize from the sponsor in the last 12 month. This Giveaway is valid in the United States Only and Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway event will end at 11:59 PM (EST) 7/19/17. The winners will have 48 hours to email their information back to las93063 at gmail dot com or a new winner will be drawn, you may want to put this email address as safe as it could go to spam. The sponsors are each responsible for shipping of the above prizes. No blog associated with this contests are responsible for prize fulfillment. If you would like to be a sponsor in a giveaway like this please email Laura Smith at las930 (at)gmail (dot) com. If you take an entry you must stay following for the entire contest or you will be disqualified.

Also we all “love it if you like us” on Facebook! If you like our blogs on social media it helps us bring you only the best giveaways and more of them!

Enter below and Good Luck!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Keep Kids Entertained This Summer With Peaceable Kingdom!


             Hey guys! Peaceable Kingdom is a really great company that specializes in cooperative games for children/families. They also offer other fun items too, including Valentine's cards, reusable sticker kits, and more. If you're looking for some items to keep your kids entertained on road trips or just pass the time on a rainy summer day, I have some fun products to share with you today!

Monkey Around

Pick a card and act it out, whether it's by yourself or with the entire group!

Monkey Around, while created with 2 year olds in mind, is a fun game for the whole family. All of Peaceable Kingdom's (PK) games are educational, but I love that this covers so many different areas, including social-emotional skills and balance/gross motor. Plus, it's a great way to bond and spend time with your little ones. I'm sure we all know how...trying? the 2 year old year can be, so this game is a nice way to lighten up and be silly and communicate as well.

We were being a human see-saw for one of the cards we drew. :)

As I mentioned, it's a great game for the whole family, even though it is intended for 2 year olds. My 4 year old and I played it for the first time while my 16 month old was taking a nap and we had a blast! Even though she is younger than the target age, the little monster was able/willing to participate in many of the actions too once she joined us after her nap. The game banana was a big hit too as bananas are her favorite. ;)

Temporary Tattoos

Myka's current obsession is temporary tattoos. I don't know if that's a “kid thing” or the fact that I have several real ones so she has a curiosity about them, but they're fun, right? PK has a slew of not only temporary body tattoos, but t-shirt and jean tattoos as well! How cool! Where were these when I was a kid?! Anyways...


We received several different types of their body tattoos as you can see in the first image at the top of the post. As you can see in this picture, the glow-in-the-dark dinosaurs were a no-brainer for the first ones to try out. Both of my girls love dinosaurs and what kid can resist glow-in-the-dark stuff? Myka insisted that Ripley have one too. ;)

We haven't tried the others out yet, but I'm sure the lizards will be Myka's next choice. I know, I know. You would think she would go for the ones with stars and rainbows and bunnies first, but no. I can attest that the glow-in-the-dark ones last for much longer than you would expect! Don't be like me, though, and make sure whatever wet rag you use to apply them is nice and wet. I kind of botched theirs. Oops. Good thing they're kids and don't care! ;)

Sticker Fun: Reusable Cling Stickers


I think reusable stickers are just about the best thing ever for young kids, don't you? I'm sure we've all been there: You let your little one play with stickers for the first (or second, or third, or fourth...) time and then proceed to freak out and throw a fit when they can't easily peel them back off, amiright?

Reusable stickers are great for car trips and imaginative play in general, too, and Peaceable Kingdom offers a collection of themes so that any child will be able to find one that he/she likes. (Even older kids will enjoy them, like the United States Map, World Map, and Take-Along Games pack. Plus, what parent doesn't love squeezing in some brain exercises over summer break? ;) ) They offer just about everything, from Cars & Trucks and Train Time, to Magical Unicorns and Mermaids.

Are you seeing a theme here with the dinosaurs? ;)

Myka enjoyed playing with these the day we received them as it was rainy and nasty out. (I helped Ripley play with some too, much to Myka's chagrin.) I packed these for our camping trip to keep them entertained in the car or if we had some spare time to kill at our campsite, but neither of those events really happened. But, it was nice having them just in case...Plus, they don't take up much room, which is very handy on ANY trip!

Playing Cards


Now, some of you might think I'm crazy (and I probably am), but yes, you can totally teach and play card games with your 4 year old! Even though we help her and don't cheat, she somehow ends up winning most of the time! Beginner's luck?

I love these fairy cards because they're colorful, fun, and, assuming the kids don't tear them up, will last for years to come with two girls. ;) We have several card games that are game specific, like Crazy 8's and Go Fish, so it's nice to have a regular set of playing cards, yet the fairies make them more fun and kid-friendly. These would be great for summer camp or regular family camping since they don't take up much room, so I plan on taking these with us on our next camping trip too!


             Be sure to head over to Peaceable Kingdom's website to peruse all of their unique games, activity sets, and more. You're sure to find something your kids (and you!) will enjoy all for reasonable prices. You can stay up-to-date with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube.
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party
ethannevelyn.com

Friday, June 16, 2017

Amara Organic Baby Food Giveaway

Sponsored By: Amara Organic Baby Food

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Co-Hosted By: InezbyDesign

3 Winners Will Receive: 

An introduction pack to Amara Organic Baby Food!

A $75 TRV giveaway! 

Open To US and must be 18+ to enter
Giveaway Dates ~ 6/16 9:00 AM EST through 6/30 11:59PM EST
Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winners will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. The winners have 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Let Your Kid's Freak Flag Fly!


             My 4 year old daughter recently returned home from Memaw and Papaw's house for the night with a Monster High dvd. I was both appalled and perturbed. Not that she had any way of knowing because I had never said anything to her about it, but ever since seeing a preview for some Monster High something-or-other on one of Myka's “baby doll movies” (I may have accidentally started something when I let her rent a Barbie movie to appease her one day to get work done), I have vowed I would never let her watch it. Really, it kind of started before that when my (now) friends and I had a conversation about it at the park when we saw a girl with one of the dolls from the show. I mean really, especially out of context, they kind of look like zombie sluts or Barbie's undead whore-ish cousins upon first glance, amiright? Anyways...
             My initial instinct was that I really, really, wanted to hide the movie and hope to God that Myka would forget about it. Again, she's 4 and therefore tends to fixate on things she's excited about (please tell me that is a 4 year old “thing”), so no such luck there. I kinda wanted to strangle Memaw. But, John put it in for her and I was busy most of the time she watched it the first time, so I didn't really pay much attention to it. John actually ended up watching some of it with her and claimed it wasn't as bad as he thought it would be. I still had my doubts, of course.
             Fast forward to the next day and Myka wanted to watch it again, of course. I am guilty of letting her watch movies (we don't have “regular tv” and PBS is about the only thing she will watch from what we get) when I just need a mental break and/or need to get some work done on the computer, so I let her. Then I happened to overhear something the main character said at the beginning of the movie that caught my attention: Normal is different for everyone. I love that, don't you? Needless to say, I actually started paying more attention to the movie after that and it really wasn't completely horrible. I didn't mind letting her watch it after I realized the overall theme of the movie was to be yourself and don't try to hide who you really are because normal is different for everyone...And that's ok!
             Later that week we were on a quest to find some more toy bugs to add to our bug bin for school. We looked all over town (for what it's worth since it's a small town) and only found a couple of huge grasshoppers and beetles at the Dollar General. But, we did come across a package of mini snakes, frogs, and lizards at CVS that Myka just had to have. They also had a package of “zoo” animals, but nope. She had to have the reptiles and amphibians one because the girl loves snakes. I couldn't help but reflect on this. As we got in the car I said,

Hey, Myka. I'm glad you're into weird stuff.” I quickly corrected myself as soon as the words were out of my mouth.
Well, I shouldn't say 'weird'. It's not weird, it's just not stuff that most girls your age would be into.”


             And, as much as she drives me crazy, that is one of the things I love about her. We try really hard not to push gender stereotypes on our kids. I personally believe that if we did, they wouldn't be as happy. Don't get me wrong: She still likes typically “girly” things too, like nail polish and make-up...Which yes, makes us cringe because we greatly dislike both, but if it makes her happy, whatever!
             Albeit it's been a few years since I've talked about it, I've talked about gender stereotypes in kids on the blog before, so I won't get on my soapbox for too long. Just remember: As parents, grandparents, teachers, etc., embrace your child's interests, even if it doesn't conform to what is “normal”.
             So what if your little boy wants to put on dresses for pretend play or enjoys flowers? So what if your daughter likes playing with dump trucks and getting muddy? From their perspective, they think it's strange and won't understand why we wouldn't want them to do those things! In our case, I think it's strange for a 4 year old girl to take such a liking to snakes because I hate them, but she probably can't understand why I wouldn't. With that being said...
             Besides gender stereotypes as a whole in our society, please, please, don't forget that just because you don't like something doesn't mean your child doesn't have to dislike it too. Trust me: It's easy to fall into the trap of wanting to push our likes, interests, and hobbies on our children. To be totally honest, it still hurts my feelings when Myka doesn't want to do certain things with me that I thought she would think were fun that I also happen to enjoy. While it's acceptable to give them the opportunity to explore the things we enjoy ourselves, it's not ok to force them. If you're having to drag your child to dance class, it's probably time to quit. If your child continually resists wanting to paint or only finishes a product halfway, don't push the issue any further. We wouldn't like it if someone did that to us as adults, right?
             So, let your child's “freak flag” soar! Be a good role model and let yours fly too. ;)

What “strange” things are your kids into?
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party
ethannevelyn.com

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Our First Family Camping Trip!


             Hey guys! Did you catch my post on our backyard camping experience/trial run-gone-wrong a few weeks ago? Now that you're caught up, I am happy to report that we had a pretty successful REAL first family camping trip to Brown County State Park recently! Today I'm going to share all about it, including some handy information for your own camping trip to the park with the fam and just some useful tips on camping with kids in general if you are new to it as well. Learn from our mistakes, y'all!
             Long story short, John got a long “weekend” over Memorial Day weekend and I decided we should/talked him into going camping! It was a great time to go to avoid crowds, too, because we arrived on Memorial Day as everyone was leaving!


We had a nice spot, but if you're planning on doing a lot of things like we did, I definitely recommend finding a spot in one of the first two campgrounds. It's a bit of a drive back in Taylor Ridge...And we were only camped about halfway through it!
             We got everything set up by 3 and hadn't eaten since breakfast, so we had some sandwiches for lunch first. We kind of let Myka decide what we did to appease her (not that it wasn't stuff we wanted to do too ;) ), so our first stop was the swimming pool. Since they had probably just opened up for Memorial Day weekend, it was super cold! Myka and I had fun, though. Ripley didn't stay in too long because she didn't care for how cold it was. It was in the low 80's that afternoon, a bit cooler than I care for to go swimming, but it wouldn't have been so bad had it not been so breezy!




             We cooked some hot dogs over the fire that evening. John picked up some fun stuff from the camp store that changes the color of your fire, so that was a big hit with Myka. She happened to see the playground right outside of the campground earlier in the day, so we played for a little bit there after dinner as it was getting dark out.


             We killed two birds with one stone by starting the next day off by walking to the nature center. I had really meant to check out some more trails this time, but it technically fulfilled the “walk in the woods” portion of our trip. It was quite a walk from our campsite! I'm kind of surprised Myka made it back, though she did ask John to carry her several times.


             After lunch, we decided to give the new boat a try. (There are two small lakes at Brown County.) Myka has become obsessed with having a boat, so we made her save her chore money up to buy one. Unfortunately, she and John weren't able to go on their maiden voyage because it was too windy. We did get to witness two dogs get in a fight, so that was...frightening. 


            Since we felt bad since Myka has been so excited about going out in her boat, I thought I would be nice and take her to see the horses. I didn't know they also had pony rides until we got there, so we decided to drive back and change into normal clothes (she had her bathing suit on for the boat ride). And she fell asleep. We knew she would probably super ticked when she woke up because we wouldn't have time to go back before they closed for the day, but she REALLY needed a nap. She actually didn't throw a fit or cry like I thought she would and we promised to take her the next day.



             It rained off and on for about 2 hours that night, so we took Myka for her pony ride first thing Wednesday to give the tent time to dry out. She and I attempted to go in the fire tower afterwards, but we only made it up two flights of stairs. Ha ha Since I told her to take her time, it was giving me TOO much time to think and I ended up freaking myself out. Heights didn't use to bother me, but I guess they do now? I think it was more of the whole “being able to feel the tower move” thing.
             We figured out that the road outside of the campground was a scenic tour-type thing, so we checked that out since we had some extra time from not climbing the fire tower. Plus I hadn't seen that part of the park on our day trip a couple of months ago.
             It was time to eat and pack up when we got back to our campsite. Myka was super sad we had to leave. We weren't thrilled about having to get back to normal either.

Because, you know, priorities: Coffee and Jiffy Pop!

             Overall, it was actually a really good trip. The kids had their moments, but I expected that and they weren't really any whinier than normal. They actually did a lot better than I expected. (It's good to set your expectations low sometimes. ;) ) I'm very glad it went so well. I was afraid it would go so poorly that it would be our first and last camping trip for awhile. Now we know what to expect.
             It was definitely a learning experience. John and I hadn't been camping for probably 7 years. We both made lists of what to take...And we still managed to forget things, but that's to be expected, right? Kids take an insane amount of stuff! Funny enough, I don't think any of the things we forgot were for them. The major, really stupid thing we forgot? Our own blanket! I guess we were so worried about remembering all of the kids' stuff that we spaced it. There is not a Walmart or anything like that in Nashville, but we did find some relatively cheap blankets at the Dollar Store...But they were too short and not cutting it, so we traded them with the blanket under the air mattress. It was still really freaking cold! I am used to camping in the summer, so I guess I didn't realize just how chilly it still got at night. Oops! Lesson learned.
             Also, I suggest you look up campsites on the ReserveAmerica website before your visit, whether you're tent camping or have an RV or something in-between. If you want to book a spot in advance, you actually have to use this website. Plus, it's really cool because it shows you pictures of each spot and gives you specific details about it. We noticed a lot of spots in the area we camped (Taylor Ridge) weren't really great for tents. (Not level) The parking spot lengths varied a lot too, so that's obviously something to consider when you're looking.
             I thought it was also worth noting that check out times are later on holidays (and Sundays, if I remember right). So, if you're planning on just showing up, you might keep that in mind and arrive closer to check out time, especially if there's a certain spot you might be wanting. (Yes, we found this out the hard way. We got a spot right next to the one we wanted, so it worked out. The spot was actually vacant, but the line of RVs waiting to dump their stuff was so long that whoever had that spot must have been in that line and hadn't had a chance to check out yet.)
             I hate to admit it since we're fairly adamant about not buying an SUV and DEFINITELY not a mini-van, but we didn't have enough room for everything and everyone in the car...And it has a huge trunk too! Like, “store a body back there” big. Luckily, Brown County is only an hour away from us, so we just took both cars. So, do some forward planning and make sure you have room for everything in your vehicle!
             I think that's enough info for now! I hope you enjoyed the pictures and video. It really is a great park to visit. I'm hoping our next trip will be to cave country in southern Indiana (Yes, Indiana has caves!), so stay tuned for that! We've been trying to catch up on farm and yard work at home, so there probably won't be a Travelin' Tuesdays post next week.
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party
ethannevelyn.com